Perception beyond Inference

Perception beyond Inference

The Information Content of Visual Processes

Edited by Liliana Albertazzi, Gert J. van Tonder and Dhanraj Vishwanath

Proposing a new paradigm for perceptual science that goes beyond standard information theory and digital computation.





Proposing a new paradigm for perceptual science that goes beyond standard information theory and digital computation.

This book breaks with the conventional model of perception that views vision as a mere inference to an objective reality on the basis of "inverse optics." The authors offer the alternative view that perception is an expressive and awareness-generating process. Perception creates semantic information in such a way as to enable the observer to deal efficaciously with the chaotic and meaningless structure present at the physical boundary between the body and its surroundings. Vision is intentional by its very nature; visual qualities are essential and real, providing an aesthetic and meaningful interface to the structures of physics and the state of the brain. This view brings perception firmly in line with ethology and modern evolutionary biology and suggests new approaches in all disciplines that study, or require an understanding of, the ontology of mind.

The book is the joint effort of a multidisciplinary group of authors. Topics covered include the relationships among stimuli, neuronal processes, and visual awareness. After considering the mind-dependent growing of information, the book treats time and dynamics; color, shape, and space; language and perception; perception, art, and design.


$60.00 X ISBN: 9780262015028 464 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 4 color illus., 130 b&w illus.


Liliana Albertazzi

Liliana Albertazzi is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Cognitive Science at Trento University, Italy.

Gert J. van Tonder

Gert J. van Tonder is Professor of Vision Research and Adjunct Professor at the Laboratory of Visual Psychology, Department of Architecture and Design, at Kyoto Institute of Technology.

Dhanraj Vishwanath

Dhanraj Vishwanath is RCUK (Research Councils UK) Academic Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.


  • A truly novel contribution to the problem of perception and vision.... This excellent and demanding book opens up the door to a deeply informed attitude in cognitive science... By putting together such a rich collection of chapters, the editors have contributed to the renaissance of the autonomy and dignity of cognitive science.

    Minds & Machines